Mother’s Day Without Crazy Grandma

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My grandma is sitting in a nursing home right now. She might be looking out the window with a pastel colored sweater hanging over her shoulders, or a crocheted blanket laying loosely on her legs while she watches the blue jays and cardinals eat from the bird feeder I might have bought for her last Mother’s Day but, my grandma is no ordinary grandma. She is most likely cussing at the staff, maybe even hitting them, in a rage of anger stemmed from an imaginary event she has concocted, and genuinely believes.

It’s hard to explain the complexities of her personality, although I am sure she has multiples. There have been times in which I was so overcome with her kindness I felt like I was going to hell for having had bad thoughts about her. My first semester in college she had a cake and flowers delivered to my dorm room for my birthday. It was completely unexpected and one of the nicest things she had ever done for me for my birthday. When I called to thank her I could tell she was proud of herself, proud of her abilities to surprise me. I spent a good half hour making up stories about how my whole dorm flocked to me and devoured the cake, after my own gratitude wasn’t enough.

When she was down, she was down. My husband, baby son, and I had stopped by to visit my grandparents. She was in an off mood, but sometimes, if you gave compliments, her mood could be reversed. I used my complimenting ways successfully in the past but this particular day it didn’t work. Before we knew it, she tried to push me against the wall by choking me. She had her hand around my neck and she was pushing with all her might. It didn’t hurt. I was actually afraid to move because I thought she might fall and hurt herself. When she was unsuccessful with me, she threw a flashlight at my husband’s head who was holding my baby boy in his arms. As we were trying to leave she followed us out to the driveway, throwing my things in our direction. She even threw my stroller at me. As we started to drive away, she punched the car door and held up her bloody hand.

“You did this!”

My son was crying in the backseat, my husband was sighing and I was silent. It wasn’t her first outburst but I swore it would be the last one I would see.

Since she has been in the nursing home, I have not seen her. In fact I haven’t seen her in two years. I talked to her twice before she accused me of killing my grandpa and having her dogs taken away. She broke her back while in a rehab facility after a different operation. She was forced from her home into nursing care. I wouldn’t have even known where she was if it wasn’t for a nurse who knew me that contacted me.

I can imagine that she is spinning some sad story about how I’m an evil woman and have abandoned her. If she has an audience she will say that I hate her, stole her money, tried to kill her, and stole her car. It’s not any of those things. I am respecting my grandpa’s last wishes of having nothing to do with her. She is cruel, manipulative and I swear possessed.

This Mother’s Day, my grandma is most likely sitting in her room, watching her shows, looking for an ear to spread more rumors about me and wishing that someone did come see her, if only so she could yell at them for not bringing the right flowers.

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The Conquering of Crazy Grandma

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Crazy Grandma is one of those people who are really hard to like. Do I love her? Of course. Is she crazy? Why yes.

She wasn’t easy to live with, maybe that’s why my mom got pregnant and ran off as soon as she could, leaving me, two pregnancies later, with her. My grandpa wasn’t so bad, in fact he was a tall, funny, handsome enjoyable man to be around. My grandma, however, lacked these admirable human characteristics which make people want to love you. Loving a manic depressant is easy, living with one isn’t.

There wasn’t ever a day that went by in which I hadn’t caused some sort of outburst or look of disapproval. Getting into trouble, whether my fault or not, occurred regularly.

Getting in trouble with her was like a law document, hard to understand the reasoning and always filed away in some little niche to be brought up again at a later time against me. It was hard to understand what I would and would not get punished for, wearing sunglasses…yes, only drug dealers did that. Saying “Aww, man”…yes, only uneducated people spoke that way. Eating too much cake? No, she made it so it was okay. Walking around the lake for hours? Nope, I was out of her hair. I did find out one day I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV, and that wasn’t pretty.

This one time in particular, I don’t remember what I got in trouble (it was a daily occurrence, hard to keep up with) for but I do remember what happened. She barged into my room, demanded I stand up and face her. She rattled off a bunch of infractions all at once. Her face was red and her eyebrows were standing up on end like an angry cat. She was throwing out so much hatred I couldn’t keep up.

Undergoing such intense evil and anger, I watched her eyes take on a shark-like appearance ready to annihilate me. I realized she was circling me with a series of unanswerable questions which would all equally end in punishment.

“Do you think I’m that stupid? Did you think you would get away with it? I’m psychic, remember?”
Bumping me for a taste to see if she truly wanted to follow through, her approach was at first soft and smooth but left a stinging feeling behind.
“Your brother Dennis wouldn’t do this. You’re as worthless as that man in Holly Hill. I swear I don’t know why your grandpa sticks up for you. Even the dogs don’t like you.”

Looking into her eyes, the pupils big and dark, empty and void of feelings I saw that only a killing machine remained.
“You’re cold-hearted. You have no feelings. You never cry. What’s wrong with you?” She waited for me to respond.

As she made her final taste-bump it all hit me, “Now I know why my mom turned out the way she did.”

Once the words left my mouth I knew it was like leaving a trail of blood behind in the water.

First the slap, then yelling so hard she spit on my face, like shreds of fish from the jaws of the Great White. Her head swiftly shook from side to side in her anger. Her arms flew up at her sides and her hair moistened with sweat. I had said the one thing which I would later gain street cred with my family for, the one thing no one ever dared to say but were all thinking it. When she could no longer come up with insults she slammed the door leaving me standing in her wake. I smiled at the closed door.

At twelve I had tested the water, I was injured, maybe lost an arm or a leg, but I had hit the nose and hadn’t been eaten alive. I swam to the shore, slowly but victorious.